Miami Travel Guide

Culture

Entertainment and performing arts

In addition to such annual festivals like Calle Ocho Festival and Carnaval Miami, Miami is home to many entertainment venues, theaters, museums, parks and performing arts centers. The newest addition to the Miami arts scene is the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, the second-largest performing arts center in the United States after the Lincoln Center in New York City, and is the home of the Florida Grand Opera. Within it are the Ziff Ballet Opera House, the center's largest venue, the Knight Concert Hall, the Carnival Studio Theater and the Peacock Rehearsal Studio. The center attracts many large-scale operas, ballets, concerts, and musicals from around the world and is Florida's grandest performing arts center. Other performing arts venues in Miami include the Herbert and Nicole Wertheim Performing Arts Center, Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, Coconut Grove Playhouse, Colony Theatre, Lincoln Theatre, New World Center, Actor's Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre, Jackie Gleason Theatre, Manuel Artime Theater, Ring Theatre, Playground Theatre, Wertheim Performing Arts Center, the Fair Expo Center and the Bayfront Park Amphitheater for outdoor music events.

The city attracts a large number of musicians, singers, actors, dancers, and orchestral players. Miami has numerous orchestras, symphonies and performing art conservatories. Some of these include the Florida Grand Opera, FIU School of Music, Frost School of Music, Miami City Ballet, Miami Conservatory, Miami Wind Symphony, New World School of the Arts, New World Symphony Orchestra, as well as the music, theater and art schools of the city's many universities and schools.

Miami is also a major fashion center, home to models and some of the top modeling agencies in the world. Miami is also host to many fashion shows and events, including the annual Miami Fashion Week and the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Miami held in the Wynwood Art District.

Museums and art

The city is home to numerous museums as well, many of which are in Downtown. These include the Frost Art Museum, HistoryMiami, Miami Art Museum, Miami Children's Museum, Miami Science Museum, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, and the Miami-Dade Cultural Center, home of the Miami Main Library. Miami is also the home of the world's largest art exhibition, dubbed the "Olympics of Art", Art Basel Miami. The event is held annually in December, and attracts thousands of visitors from around the world.

Parks

Miami's tropical weather allows for year-round outdoors activities. The city has numerous marinas, rivers, bays, canals, and the Atlantic Ocean, which make boating, sailing, and fishing popular outdoors activities. Biscayne Bay has numerous coral reefs which make snorkeling and scuba diving popular. There are over 80 parks and gardens in the city. The largest and most popular parks are Bayfront Park and Bicentennial Park (located in the heart of Downtown and the location of the American Airlines Arena and Bayside Marketplace), Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Key Biscayne (Crandon Park and Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park), Tropical Park, Peacock Park, Morningside Park, Virginia Key, and Watson Island.

Other popular cultural destinations in the area include Jungle Island, Zoo Miami, Miami Seaquarium, Coral Castle, St. Bernard de Clairvaux Church, and the Charles Deering Estate.

Music

Miami music is varied. Cubans brought the conga and rumba to Miami from their homelands instantly popularizing it in American culture. Dominicans brought bachata, and merengue, while Colombians brought vallenato and cumbia, and Brazilians brought samba. West Indians and Caribbean people have brought reggae, soca, kompa, zouk, calypso, and steel pan to the area as well.

In the early 1970s, the Miami disco sound came to life with TK Records, featuring the music of KC and the Sunshine Band, with such hits as "Get Down Tonight", "(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty" and "That's the Way (I Like It)"; and the Latin-American disco group, Foxy (band), with their hit singles "Get Off" and "Hot Number". Miami-area natives George McCrae and Teri DeSario were also popular music artists during the 1970s disco era. The Bee Gees moved to Miami in 1975 and have lived here ever since then. Miami-influenced, Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine, hit the popular music scene with their Cuban-oriented sound and had huge hits in the 1980s with "Conga" and "Bad Boys".

Miami is also considered a "hot spot" for dance music, Freestyle, a style of dance music popular in the 80's and 90's heavily influenced by Electro, hip-hop, and disco. Many popular Freestyle acts such as Pretty Tony, Debbie Deb, Stevie B, and Exposé, originated in Miami. Indie/folk acts Cat Power and Iron & Wine are based in the city, while alternative hip hop artist Sage Francis, electro artist Uffie, and the electroclash duo Avenue D were born in Miami, but musically based elsewhere. Also, ska punk band Against All Authority is from Miami, and rock/metal bands Nonpoint and Marilyn Manson each formed in neighboring Fort Lauderdale. Popular Cuban American female recording artist, Ana Cristina, was born in Miami in 1985, and became the first Hispanic person in history to perform the "Star Spangled Banner" at a presidential inauguration.

The 1980s and '90s also brought the genre of high energy Miami Bass to dance floors and car subwoofers throughout the country. Miami Bass spawned artists like 2 Live Crew (featuring Uncle Luke), 95 South, Tag Team, 69 Boyz, Quad City DJ's, and Freak Nasty. Examples of these songs are "Whoomp! (There It Is)" by Tag Team in 1993, "Tootsee Roll" by 69 Boyz in 1994, and "C'mon N' Ride It (The Train)" by the Quad City DJ's in 1996. These songs all reached the top 10 in the pop charts and gave Miami Bass a new commercial success.

This was also a period of alternatives to alcohol-fueled, "meat market" nightclubs, the warehouse party, acid house, rave and outdoor festival scenes of the late 1980s and early 1990s were havens and proving grounds for the latest trends in electronic dance music, especially house and its ever-more hypnotic, synthetic offspring techno and trance, in clubs like the infamous Warsaw Ballroom better known as Warsaw and The Mix where DJs like david padilla (who was the resident DJ for both) and radio. The new sound fed back into mainstream clubs across the country. The scene in SoBe, along with a bustling secondhand market for electronic instruments and turntables, had a strong democratizing effect, offering amateur, "bedroom" DJs the opportunity to become proficient and popular as both music players and producers, regardless of the whims of the professional music and club industries. Some of these notable DJs are John Benetiz (better known as JellyBean Benetiz), Danny Tenaglia, and David Padilla.

Miami is also home to a vibrant techno and dance scene and hosts the Winter Music Conference, the largest dance event in the world, Ultra Music Festival and many electronica music-themed celebrations and festivals. Along with neighboring Miami Beach, Miami is home to nightclubs such as Space, Mansion, Parkwest, Ink, and Cameo. The city is known to be part of clubland, along with places such as Mykonos, Ibiza and Ayia Napa.

There are also several rap and hip hop artists out of Miami. They include Trick Daddy, Trina, Pitbull, Pretty Ricky, DJ Khaled, Flo Rida, Jackie-O, Rick Ross, DJ Laz, and the Miami Bass group 2 Live Crew.

Media

Miami has one of the largest television markets in the nation and the second largest in the state of Florida. Miami has several major newspapers, the main and largest newspaper being The Miami Herald. El Nuevo Herald is the major and largest Spanish-language newspaper. The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald are Miami's and South Florida's main, major and largest newspapers. The papers left their longtime home in downtown Miami in 2013. The newspapers are now headquartered at the former home of U.S. Southern Command in Doral.

Other major newspapers include Miami Today, headquartered in Brickell, Miami New Times, headquartered in Midtown, Miami Sun Post, South Florida Business Journal, Miami Times, and Biscayne Boulevard Times. An additional Spanish-language newspapers, Diario Las Americas also serve Miami. The Miami Herald is Miami's primary newspaper with over a million readers and is headquartered in Downtown in Herald Plaza. Several other student newspapers from the local universities, such as the oldest, the University of Miami's The Miami Hurricane, Florida International University's The Beacon, Miami-Dade College's The Metropolis, Barry University's The Buccaneer, amongst others. Many neighborhoods and neighboring areas also have their own local newspapers such as the Aventura News, Coral Gables Tribune, Biscayne Bay Tribune, and the Palmetto Bay News.

A number of magazines circulate throughout the greater Miami area, including Miami Monthly, Southeast Florida's only city/regional; Ocean Drive, a hot-spot social scene glossy, and South Florida Business Leader.

Miami is also the headquarters and main production city of many of the world's largest television networks, record label companies, broadcasting companies and production facilities, such as Telemundo, TeleFutura, Galavisión, Mega TV, Univisión, Univision Communications, Inc., Universal Music Latin Entertainment, RCTV International and Sunbeam Television. In 2009, Univisión announced plans to build a new production studio in Miami, dubbed 'Univisión Studios'. Univisión Studios is currently headquartered in Miami, and will produce programming for all of Univisión Communications' television networks.

Miami is the twelfth largest radio market and the seventeenth largest television market in the United States. Television stations serving the Miami area include: WAMI (Telefutura), WBFS (My Network TV), WSFL (The CW), WFOR (CBS), WHFT (TBN), WLTV (Univision), WPLG (ABC), WPXM (ION), WSCV (Telemundo), WSVN (Fox), WTVJ (NBC), WPBT (PBS), and WLRN (also PBS).

Cuisine

The cuisine of Miami is a reflection of its diverse population, with a heavy influence especially from Caribbean cuisine and from Latin American cuisine. By combining the two with American cuisine, it has spawned a unique South Florida style of cooking known as Floribbean cuisine. Floribbean cuisine is widely available throughout Miami and South Florida, and can be found in restaurant chains such as Pollo Tropical.

Cuban immigrants in the 1960s brought the Cuban sandwich, medianoche, Cuban espresso, and croquetas, all of which have grown in popularity to all Miamians, and have become symbols of the city's varied cuisine. Today, these are part of the local culture, and can be found throughout the city in window cafés, particularly outside of supermarkets and restaurants. Restaurants such as Versailles restaurant in Little Havana is a landmark eatery of Miami. Located on the Atlantic Ocean, and with a long history as a seaport, Miami is also known for its seafood, with many seafood restaurants located along the Miami River, and in and around Biscayne Bay. Miami is also the home of restaurant chains such as Burger King, Tony Roma's and Benihana.

Dialect

The Miami area has a unique dialect, (commonly called the "Miami dialect") which is widely spoken. The dialect developed among second- or third-generation Hispanics, including Cuban-Americans, whose first language was English (though some non-Hispanic white, black, and other races who were born and raised the Miami area tend to adopt it as well.) It is based on a fairly standard American accent but with some changes very similar to dialects in the Mid-Atlantic (especially the New York area dialect, Northern New Jersey English, and New York Latino English.) Unlike Virginia Piedmont, Coastal Southern American, and Northeast American dialects and Florida Cracker dialect (see section below), "Miami accent" is rhotic; it also incorporates a rhythm and pronunciation heavily influenced by Spanish (wherein rhythm is syllable-timed).

However, this is a native dialect of English, not learner English or interlanguage; it is possible to differentiate this variety from an interlanguage spoken by second-language speakers in that "Miami accent" does not generally display the following features: there is no addition of before initial consonant clusters with, speakers do not confuse of with, (e.g., Yale with jail), and /r/ and /rr/ are pronounced as instead of alveolar tap [] or alveolar trill in Spanish.

Sports

Miami's main four sports teams are the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League, the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association, the Miami Marlins of Major League Baseball, and the Florida Panthers of the National Hockey League. As well as having all four major professional teams, Miami is also home to Miami United F.C., the Sony Ericsson Open for professional tennis, numerous greyhound racing tracks, marinas, jai alai venues, and golf courses. The city streets has hosted professional auto races, the Miami Indy Challenge and later the Grand Prix Americas, whereas the Homestead-Miami Speedway oval located southwest currently hosts NASCAR national races.

In 1946, the Miami Seahawks played in the All-America Football Conference for one season, 1946, and then folded. The city's first entry into the American Football League was the Miami Dolphins, which competed in the fourth AFL league from 1966 to 1969. In 1996, Miami acquired the AFL team the Sacramento Attack, which was renamed as the Miami Hooters (due to its association with the Florida-based Hooters restaurant chain), and it played from 1993 to 1995. In 1996, the association with the chain was completed, and the team moved to West Palm Beach and renamed as the Florida Bobcats.

Currently, the Miami Heat and the Miami Marlins play their games within Miami's city limits. The Heat play their home games at the American Airlines Arena in Downtown Miami. The Miami Marlins home ballpark is Marlins Park, located in the Little Havana section of the city on the site of the old Orange Bowl stadium.

The Miami Dolphins play their games at Sun Life Stadium in suburban Miami Gardens. The Orange Bowl, a member of the Bowl Championship Series, hosts their college football championship games at Sun Life Stadium. The stadium has also hosted the Super Bowl; the Miami metro area has hosted the game a total of ten times (five Super Bowls at the now Sun Life Stadium, including Super Bowl XLI and five at the Miami Orange Bowl), tying New Orleans for the most games.

The Florida Panthers play in nearby Sunrise at the BB&T Center. The Fort Lauderdale Strikers, who play at Lockhart Stadium in nearby Fort Lauderdale, in the North American Soccer League, the second tier of the American soccer pyramid. Miami United FC, in the fourth tier, are members of the National Premier Soccer League. Miami United FC plays their games at Ted Hendricks Stadium in nearby Hialeah, Florida. Miami is also home to Paso Fino horses, where competitions are held at Tropical Park Equestrian Center.

Miami is also the home of many college sports teams. The two largest are the University of Miami Hurricanes, whose football team formerly played at the Miami Orange Bowl from 1937 until 2008, moving to Sun Life Stadium subsequently, and Florida International University Golden Panthers whose football team plays at FIU Stadium.

A number of defunct teams were located in Miami, including the Miami Floridians (ABA), Miami Matadors (ECHL), Miami Manatees (WHA2), Miami Gatos (NASL), Miami Screaming Eagles (WHA), Miami Seahawks (AAFC), Miami Sol (WNBA), Miami Toros (NASL), Miami Tropics (SFL), Miami Tropics (ABA), and the Miami Hooters (Arena Football League). The Miami Fusion, a defunct Major League Soccer team, played at Lockhart Stadium in nearby Broward County.

source: Wikipedia

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